Former Edmonton Eskimos director of human performance Kyle Thorne has decided to sue the franchise for wrongful dismissal, according to CTV reporter Matthew Black.
Black obtained the statement of claim which was filed in Alberta court on April 2.
“[The team’s] conduct was high handed, harsh, reprehensible, abusive and contemptuous of Mr. Thorne’s rights or otherwise offended the ordinary standards of morality or decent conduct in the community such as to be deserving of sanction by way of an award of punitive damages,” reads the lawsuit.
Thorne alleges Esks’ general manager Brock Sunderland requested multiple times for him to keep healthy players on the injured list so their salaries wouldn’t count against the cap, which was set at $5.7 million for the 2019 season.
“It was super uncomfortable. It felt like I was being set up to be a fall guy if anything ever happened,” Thorne said.
“I was just asked to run this program and solve a problem on the cheap which is kind of the way the CFL is. Things are done on low budgets.”
According to Black, Thorne was earning close to $100,000 a year from the team and is seeking $615,550 in damages, including $250,000 in punitive damages. The Eskimos issued a statement to Black regarding the allegations.
“The Edmonton Eskimos are aware of the allegations by a former employee,” the statement reads.
“We have conducted ourselves appropriately at all times, as has our general manager. We deny the allegations and will be defending this claim.”
Thorne must prove his case in court. When the Eskimos fired Thorne he received a termination notice.
“[The team] has conducted an investigation into your involvement in the misappropriation of [team] funds and has concluded that you did in fact indirectly divert funds from [the team] for your personal benefit,” read the letter, obtained by Black.
Thorne previously worked for the San Diego Chargers, Exos, Everton Football Club in the Premier League, New York Jets, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and San Francisco Deltas in the North American Soccer League prior to moving to Edmonton.